Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1)

A recent horse event in Ogden, UT may have exposed horses to EHV-1.

What is Equine Herpesvirus-1

Equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) is one of a large group of DNA viruses causing potentially serious disease in horses and other species. EHV-1 has two forms – one that causes abortion in mares and one that causes respiratory infection and neurological symptoms. The most recent outbreaks of concern have involved the EHV-1 respiratory/neurological form of the virus.

EHV-1 is contagious and is spread by direct horse-to-horse contact, by contaminated hands, equipment and tack, and, for a short time, through aerosolization of the virus within the environment of the stall and stable.

The virus is not a threat to human health.  There is currently no vaccine labeled to protect against the neurological strain of this virus.  There is a vaccine that may protect against the abortive and respiratory forms.  If you feel your horse may have been exposed at a recent event, please contact your veterinarian and follow appropriate biosecurity and appropriate quarantine practices to prevent further spread of the disease.  For more information on this virus check out this link to the Center for Equine Health UC Davis ehv1_general.cfm

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About Engel

Ms. Engel is an OSU field faculty member in the department of Animal Sciences. She has a B.S (1997) and a M.S. (2007) in Animal Science from South Dakota State University. She is housed at the OSU Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center in Klamath Falls, OR where she serves the extension and research needs of livestock and forage producers. Her research has focused on investigating opportunities to extend the grazing season and low input methods to increase pasture productivity.
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